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Best Restaurant in Georgia?

  • m

I'm heading out on an RV trip next week, with no formal destination. We'll be starting out from Tampa and then maybe heading up to Helen, Ga, over to Savannah, etc.

Since there's no real itinerary, this would be a good time to hit the BEST RESTAURANT IN THE STATE.

Please give me your recommendation for what you think is the best restaurant in Georgia, worth making a special trip for!

Thanks!

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  1. Dillards Restaurant - Dillard, GA
    Kinda close to Helen, GA.

    http://ngeorgia.com/food/dillard_hous...

    11 Replies
    1. re: chuckee

      Dillard House is a good place to eat, but it is a far cry from the best in Georgia.

      There could be a number of candidates - depending on tastes and location. Does atmosphere count? Are you interested in/willing to try hole-in-the-wall ethnic? Brunswick has at least one excellent restaurant. Savannah has worthy candidates as does metro Atlanta. Outlying areas have very good food by local standards, but they may not measure up to the Ritz-Carlton Dining Room in downtown Atlanta or Buckhead. The atmosphere at the Ritz-Carlton is decidedly different from Mi Pilon, which is where I am going to request a meal on Sunday (Father's Day). Mi Pilon is a Dominican restaurant with wonderful food, ample quantities, clean and helpful service from the two sisters who run the place - and very reasonably priced. Fine dining it is not. Very good dining it is.

      Do you expect to spent $50 per person for a meal? Would you enjoy a meal more if it were half that amount or less? Guide us and we will guide you - and probably disagree with each other as we do it.

      1. re: Milt

        You're right! I should have been more specific. Atmosphere is certainly important. If it's a hole in the wall but you think it has the best food/atmosphere then it's worth it to me.

        I'm not as interested in swank or what I like to call 'mid-level swank'. I prefer down home, unique, good old fashioned americana or amazing ethnic. Is the waitress going to yell at me? Does the cook dance? Have I not lived until I've tasted this absolutely amazing...whatever?!

        Ultimately, I'm looking for a restaurant, so good, so interesting and so full of character - it's worth it's own trip.

        I'm not as interested in fine dining and because I'll have a big honkin' RV (with no car) big-city dining is out of the question.

        Thanks!

        1. re: misscox

          Speed's Kitchen in Shellman Bluff. three trailers attached. Best freshest fried seafood around. Incredible crab stew & huge crab stuffed flounder. They do not serve alcohol but you can bring a cooler.

          Vandy in downtown statesboro best cue in Ga. Small block bulding with a detached smoke house.

          1. re: beteez

            I'm interested - where is Shellman Bluff? I am compelled to go there at once!!!!

            1. re: sunnysue

              John Edge wrote about it in Southern Belly. It is a small fishing village in McIntosh County.

              1. re: sunnysue

                It is so worth the trip.

                1. re: sunnysue

                  I love your attitude. Enthusiasm will get you everywhere. Good luck!

            2. re: Milt

              Milt,
              Where is Mi Pilon?

              1. re: sammur

                Mi Pilon is on the SW side of the intersection of Mitchell Road and Buford Hwy. - about a half mile north of Jimmy Carter Blvd.

              2. re: Milt

                One of my favorite BBQ places in the south is Old Clinton Bar-B-Q in Gray Ga. It is a hole-in-the-wall but sounds good for RV travel. Old Clinton is located just outside of Macon at 4214 Hwy.129. I have only had, and will only have, the pulled pork. It's just great and cheap.

                If you are going through Thomasville Ga (US 319) Liam is great for dinner and the chili dogs at the Pool Room on Broad Street are really good. (It's really a pool hall)

                The Dillard House is a good choice for North Ga. Helen did not have much to offer the last time I was there (1995).

                Being a native of Atlanta I would have to agree with you that driving through or in the city in a RV is too nerve-racking. I just wouldn't do it myself!!!

                Have a great trip!

                1. re: Milt

                  Sorry for the late posting, but I was googling Speeds Kitchen, based on one of the repsonses to your post and stumbled upon the attached article that was the 2004 (yea - a little dated but still might be helpful in your quest) Silver Spoon Awards, where readers of Georgia Trends Magazine input there top picks across the state. Appeared to be most of the top name Atlanta and Savannah spots but also finds across the state, many I have seen on this board over the years and some I have not. I printed off the article and put it in my car's glove box so I will have it with me for my next trip to Ga. later this summer.

                  Link: http://www.georgiatrend.com/site/page...

              3. I'd do a site search for Steve Drucker. He has some great posts. Below is a link to a place I'd love to try. It's in north GA.

                Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                1. when I read the subject of your post, I wondered how many responses it would take before getting to a ritz-carlton, bacchanalia(?), seeger's, watershed, rathburn's, type of answer...

                  However, if i can exercise a little bit of prejudice in regards to the "rv trip" and what i infer from that, here's my $0.02 on some places, in no particular order (I'm guessing you don't want to go into atlanta):

                  1. Bulloch House in Warm Springs is well liked by a lot of folks, country cooking type buffet. I've been a time or two, it was pretty good but not the end-all be-all some say.

                  2. Blue Willow Inn on Ga. Hwy 11 in Social Circle...not too far from where I live, if you think Southern Living Magazine is the gospel then just camp out here for a week. My impression is that it's good, but it ain't THAT good, considering what they charge. Then again, they sure aren't hurting for business, so what do I know?

                  3. Fresh Air BBQ south of Jackson on U.S. Hwy 23 is a really popular place, I think the building makes it more of a draw than the pork.

                  4. River Bend south of Thomaston on Ga. Hwy 36 has good catfish, slaw, hushpuppies, fries,served "family-style". It's got a fairly long gravel driveway...how big is your RV?

                  5. Hofer's bakery in Helen has good cakes, pastries, and the like. There's also a place right on the river that has "all you can eat" prime rib on friday nights;
                  (not the best prime rib in the world, but decent enough and where else can you eat 4 or 5 pounds of cow for 18 bucks?)

                  6. The varsity...well, as long as you're in north georgia and have an artery or two to pack, have a couple of heavy dogs, some rings and a f.o.; the one on milledge st. in athens wouldn't be too bad in an RV (i think?)

                  7. Nu-Way wieners in Macon, in case you don't get as far north as the varsity.

                  just a sampling of a few place; maybe someone else can jump in with some south georgia and savannah ideas?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: wabbitslayer

                    Great post, Wabbitslayer.

                  2. Sorry for the late posting, but I was googling Speeds Kitchen, based on one of the repsonses to your post and stumbled upon the attached article that was the 2004 (yea - a little dated but still might be helpful in your quest) Silver Spoon Awards, where readers of Georgia Trends Magazine input there top picks across the state. Appeared to be most of the top name Atlanta and Savannah spots but also finds across the state, many I have seen on this board over the years and some I have not. I printed off the article and put it in my car's glove box so I will have it with me for my next trip to Ga. later this summer.

                    Link: http://www.georgiatrend.com/site/page...

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Nick

                      Searched a little further and here is article with the 2005 Silver Spoon Awards from Georgia Trends Magazine. Some of the same ones from 2004, but a few new ones as well.

                      Link: http://www.georgiatrend.com/site/page...

                    2. Another good try if in S Ga is Jom=nes' Kitchen in Jesup. One great buffet with 4-5 meats 7 tons of fresh veggies for around 7 dollars. Been there forever.

                        1. re: Therese

                          I'd have to second the five and ten in Athens. The chef worked at Gary Danko in San Francisco. It is an absolutely charming place with a focus on fresh, local ingredients. They also do a fantastic 3-course prix fixe dinner for $24 in the early evening. They recommend reservations, but if you don't know your itinerary, I've just shown up at 5:30 when they open and have been able to get a table.

                        2. You would be silly not to check out Jones Kitchen in Jesup. Been stopping there on my way to St. Simons for over 15 years. It used to be $4.25 and I think it's now $7. Old South cooking. Nothing fancy but it is all very decent chow.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: racerboy9

                            Makes you wonder why people spend almost $20 & stand in line for hours at the lady & sons.

                          2. Oh, we went to the Lady and Sons. What a waste of time, chewing and sitting. Ugh.

                            1. Since this thread has been resurrected and will be found by others similarly seeking, allow me to add a place which barely existed at the time of the original post but is becoming known. Assuming you like Chinese food, one of the best if not the best Chinese chef(s) outside of China is now in place in, believe it or not, Marietta, just off I-75, at a place called Tasty China. Search this board for that name to get more information, especially the aforementioned Steve Drucker's "lip-zip" Full Report thread from last October. For still more information and pictures follow the various links back to DC. The AJC, Blissful Glutton, and Creative Loafing have also posted reviews, and AJC has a video on their site. Good hunting!